This year has truly been extraordinary when it comes to bad news. Although it has been rough for all of us, and most likely dooming years to come with an economic crisis, in which internet-based companies will have a head start. I think this year will wrap up faster, and my bet is on the US presidential election.
US presidential elections are always an exciting time for everyone in politics. Since the Cold War, US elections have the strong appeal of being the election of the president of a superpower. It is undeniably interesting for anyone keen on geopolitics.
Then we have the fact that we live in very post-modern times. Postmodern in the sense that we have lived already through two centuries of modernity and voter behaviours keep repeating, thus allowing anyone interested in human behaviour or sociology to be amazed at the case study the world has become, and how it unfolds.
For Americans, this is an increasingly important election. When it comes to internal affairs, the new president will have to deal with the impacts of a COVID crisis and the country in its immensely divided status. If you do not believe that the US is divided, ponder that a Democratic Republic has armed militias manoeuvring in the street, akin to the Black Shirts in Italy back in the 1930’s.
Racial Tensions, Economic Crisis, a Trade War with China, Climate Crisis and an increasingly questioned institutional basis; all of these are on the president’s menu for the next four years, and they are not simple subjects, as every one of these has impact on plenty on variables and voters opinions. It will be like playing a game of democracy 4, but you start with a bad opinion from every political and social class, and your political power is limited to a decision per turn.
For Europeans, this election will decide if there will be a partner on Human Rights and on the trade war with China.
My opinion on China shall be explored on another article, but I believe that China is playing a dirty trade war game while blaming EU and the USA for not playing by the rules. An isolationist move by the USA at this moment, would leave an alone and divided EU to stand its position of human rights and free trade against China. The continued silence by Donald Trump on the Belarus situation showcases his disregard for Human Rights. Not only that, but his undemocratic nature.
I would like to make a bold but immensely thought-provoking argument. As soon as a week of protests in Belarus passed, I expected the leaders of democratic countries in the world to condemn the violent repression on the protesters. But the silence from the White House made me reach a dark conclusion.
1st, Donald Trump does not want to get involved with any other situation, in fear it might put his re-election in danger. And this is a fact that can be verified with the Bob Woodward book Rage, in which we see a president that kept downplaying the reality of the COVID pandemic because it was election year. Thus, Trump does not want to make himself vulnerable.
2nd ,and on a much darker note, if Trump does commit to a peaceful transaction of power has he hinted at, he would come off as an incredibly hypocritical leader that opposes undemocratic elections in Belarus, but then does not accept the result of the democratic elections in his country. On the contrary, Trump keeps claiming that these elections will be fraudulent, that the elections will be undemocratic, to make himself be the protector of democratic power, blaming the system which he is part of.
On a last note, and a nostalgic one, these elections are a moment of coming of Age. I believe that every time there is an election a new group of young politicians arises. Teenagers or adults start to ponder their political beliefs, and hopefully start reading and researching into it. It is with somewhat of sadness that at this moment we welcome these people with the darkest side of politics: crisis.
Whichever way the elections end up being, it will be the last impactful event of the year, any other events that might happen will be either result of the election, of the pandemic or a natural crisis like an earthquake. And in my opinion, this is a marking way of beginning a decade.